(my apologies this will be long winded)
The 30 hour train ride was shockingly not bad at all, in fact it was actually pretty fun. We rotated sleeping, eating, watching movies, and playing card games throughout the entire ride. It really did not feel like it took that long. Plus we brought some delicious meals along with us including hummus, carrots, cucumbers, goat cheese, and more. A truly high class meal for a train I might say. I even got the surprise of seeing my grandma on the train! I figured out through facebook that she would be on there and was able to run up to her car and say hello for a little while.
We got to l.a. on Wednesday morning, completely ready to after the bathrooms in our car had a malfunction and the smell had just began seeping up into our seats. Most of the girls set up camp for a layover for the ride up to Fresno where annika lives, but my roommate mariah and I set out to find my brother at the station. Within only 2 seconds of being outside of the station we were already being heckled. Some guy asked us if we were tennis players, because we looked like we could play tennis. Confused as to how he thought so considering we didn't have any rackets we continued to look for my brother. Joel found us and got us on a bus back to his apartment. On the way he explained that finding somewhere to sleep might be difficult but that we would find somewhere. Mariah and I assured him that we could sleep on the floor of his room and that we would fine, to which he chuckled and told us to wait until we saw his room. He seriously sleeps in a closet-his room is a closet. We laughed so hard when we saw it. He has a tiny little bed down at the end of it that goes halfway into this closet's closet with a TV right in front of it and that is pretty much it. He did have a little window out onto a balcony that was pretty cool. It was seriously hysterical.
After freshening up at the apartment we hopped on the metra to hollywood for a little adventure. Joel took us to the In and Out burger, a west coast favorite, for some burgers for lunch. We mostly wandered around stopping in to amoeba music and urban outfitters. Mariah oggled all of the stars on the sidewalks and took pictures of so many of them. We got so many offers for tours...apparently we looked like tourists.
In the afternoon we set off for downtown with no plans but to wander around. Joel took us to the bench from the film 500 days of summer, which was pretty fun to see. We also went to an amazing bookstore called the Last Book Store. The entire top floor was arranged in the craziest ways and all of the books were only a dollar. There were rooms with books sorted by color, trap door bookcases, and tunnels made from books. It was really cool to walk through.
For dinner we stopped at the l.a. cafe and ordered some really amazing food. I got a chipotle chicken wrap and some vegan dahl. We sat outside and ate, watching all of the tiny puppies on leashes walk by and were constantly asked for spare change. One quite possibly homeless person even pet me while we were sitting there. Joel's friend mike picked us up and took as back to the apartment where his friends and thrown an impromptu barbecue I was able to meet a lot of his friends and really enjoyed playing games with them and listening to music. Mariah noted how similar it was being with them as it was being with out own friends in newton.
Mariah and I snuggled up in joel's tiny tiny bed and woke up with enough time to take a bus to union station to meet up with the girls.
It was really nice to see my little brother! I had so much fun exploring l.a. and giggling with him for an entire day. I will stay in touch with more travel experiences this week! Probably a lot less winded than this post:)
- (e plus) l.